Night in the Woods for PC, PS4 and etc. is a nostalgic arcade-adventure game that places an emphasis on the plot, exploration and characters. The game was created by an independent team known as Infinite Ammo, led by Alec Holowka, who created the soundtrack for TowerFall: Ascension and co-developed the arcady Aquaria. To a large extent, Night in the Woods was financed through a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, which achieved success within 26 hours.
The game is set in Possum Springs - a small mining town. The last mine gets closed and the town falls into decline because people do not have work any more. The player assumes the role of Mae - a cat with paranormal abilities, that quits her studies in order to return home and spend the last years of her youth with old friends. Among them, the player will find Bea - Mae's best friend, Gregg and Angus, who both wish to move somewhere else finally, or a hobo called Germ. The protagonist soon finds out that both her hometown and old companions have changed substantially and nothing is now as it used to be. Moreover, the streets get deserted unnaturally at night and something what could be at the bottom of it is lurking in the woods nearby.
Gameplay as such here is filled with exploration, featuring platformer elements. Thus the player walks, jumps, talks to characters encountered and uses the protagonist's abilities to discover subsequent secrets of the town and its neighbouring areas. In the meantime, the player can engage in many other, unusal activities, such as playing a bass guitar or having good time with friends. These seemingly simplistic mechanics contain a series of subliminal messages, as well as a massive number of weighty existential questions many people have probably tried to find answers for. Above all, the creators discuss subjects such as transience of all things, longing for that what cannot be re-gained, inevitability of death or whether one is capable of preparing themselves for it. Despite the fact that different characters are represented by animals here, they are along with the fictitious Possum Springs, filled with analogies to the real world. One can almost find a chunk of their own life here.
In terms of the visuals, Night in the Woods for PC, PS4 and etc. offers carefully-crafted, though simple, old-school hand-drawn graphics, which is typical for indie games. The graphics were created by Scott Benson, who is both an animator and cartoonist. Although it was his debut in the gaming industry, the art style he had been popular for was applied here. The game's sympathetic soundtrack on the other hand, was created by Alec Holowka himself.
PC / Windows
- Minimum: Intel Dual Core 2.0 GHz, 4 GB RAM, graphic card Intel HD or better, 8 GB HDD, Windows 7
Sony PlayStation 4
- Uses: PlayStation Network
Microsoft XBOX ONE
- Uses: Xbox Store